Pybba of Mercia

Pybba (570?–606/615) (also Pibba, Wibba, or Wybba) was an early King of Mercia. He was the son of Creoda and father of Penda and Eowa. Unusually, the names Pybba and Penda are likely of British Celtic, rather than Germanic, origin.[1]

King of Mercia
Reignc. 593–606/615 AD
Died606/615 AD

His dates are sometimes given in genealogies as birth in 570, the beginning of his reign in 593, and death in either 606 or 615, but with no apparent evidence; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle just mentions him as father of Penda, with no further detail.

Pybba is said by the Historia Brittonum to have had 12 sons.[2] Cearl, a Mercian king, is mentioned by Bede, and may have been Pybba's successor, but his relationship to Pybba, if any, is unknown. Pybba's son Penda eventually became king; the Chronicle gives the date of this as 626, although Bede suggests it was not until after the battle of Hatfield Chase in 633.

Besides Penda and Eowa (who the author of the Historia Brittonum said were the sons of Pybba who were the best known to him[2]), Pybba also apparently had a son named Coenwalh. Every king from Penda until Ceolwulf, who was deposed in 823, was said to be a descendant of Pybba, either through Penda, Eowa, or Coenwalh (perhaps excluding Beornrad, who ruled briefly and whose background is unknown).

Pybba also is said to have had a daughter. Though unnamed, she was possibly the first wife of Cenwalh, King of Wessex (648–674).[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Higham, Nicholas J.; Ryan, Martin J. (2013), The Anglo-Saxon World, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-12534-4, p. 143
  2. ^ a b Historia Brittonum, Chapter 65.
  3. ^ Beda: HE 3,7

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Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Mercia
c. 593 – 606 or 615
Succeeded by